Oxford Colonial Tour

oxford tour

1. The Pitt Rivers Museum:

panel super

 What is the British empire? What is colonialism?

See Takes on Empire for Oxford Academics interpreting what these terms can mean.

Opening with these questions: 

  • Why did Rhodes Must Fall say this the PRM was the violent space in Oxford?
  • Why was the Pitt Rivers set up?
  • What’s in the Pitt Rivers
  • How did these objects get there
  • Discussion of the Benin Bronzes, and Fly Whisk and other appropriate objects
  • What should happen to these objects now? 
  • Should objects be repatriated?
benin bronzs display pitt rivers museum picture by michail john katsillis

2. All Souls College: 

To see at All Souls:

3. Indian Institute:

To see: Carvings; The Plaque Inside

  • Why is this in Oxford
  • The  Indian institute was  set up to train officials of the British Raj
  • Those trained at the Indian institute would have been presiding over disasters like the Bengal famine. 
  •  Lord Curzon is particularly interesting. He was the Viceroy of India, and eventually Chancellor of the University of Oxford. 
  • Relationship between race and power relations.
  • Discussion of cultural appropriation and its relation to power relations 
  • Chronic lack of funding; current status as Oxford Martin school.
  • Does this reinforce the  idea of institutional interest in empire when we have it, but in post-colonial times, history is whitewashed? 
  • Is there a divorce of imperial history from British history? How does this tie into Gove’s reforms of Education? 
plaque old indian institute building oxford picture by michail katsillis
statue of cecil rhodes oriel college picture by michail john katsillis

4. Rhodes statue 

  • Why does the statue of Rhodes look so different to the statue of Codrington? What does this say about how views of empire have changed in the intervening time? 
  • Under him are King George V and Kind Edward VII him.
  • Inscription says: E    L A R G A   M V N n I FI C E N T I A   C A E C I L I I    R H O D E S [By means of the generous munificence of Cecil Rhodes]
  • Story of scramble for Africa
  • Story of Rhodes :his role in conquering Rhodesia, and his role in the beginning of apartheid 
  • Protest against him 
  • History of statue, and 100 years of controversy 

5. The Oxford Union: 

Things to cover: